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News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news and current news events with host Craig Melvin. New.

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Syria 66, United States 21, Israel 19, Obama 18, Assad 14, Craig 12, U.s. 11, Us 9, U.n. 7, Britain 7, Russia 7, America 6, Kristin Welker 5, Lyrica 5, Iran 5, Iraq 5, France 5, Msnbc 4, Hezbollah 4, At&t 4,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Craig Melvin. New.  

    August 31, 2013
    11:00 - 1:01pm PDT  

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that we do what we say and we lead with the belief that right makes might, not the other way around. we all know there are no easy options, but i was not elected to avoid hard decisions and neither were the members of the house and the senate. i have told you what i believe that are security and values demand that we cannot turn away from the massacre of countless civilians with chemical weapons. and our democracy is stronger when the president and the peoples' representatives stand together. i am ready to act in the face of this outrage. today i am asking congress to send a message to the world that we are ready to move forward together as one nation. thanks very much. >> will you forego a strike if congress disapproves? >> good afternoon to you, i will pick up the coverage here. we are expecting the plead to give us the latest on the white
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house's decisions regarding syria, and then the president surprising a lot of folks saying he is going to call on congress to take a vote before military strikes. kristin welker standing by for us at the white house. are you with me? >> i am with you and can hear you. >> where do we go from here and what is next? >> you absolutely hit the nail on the head, craig. this will surprise a lot of people, a lot of folks were expecting president obama to come out and announce that they had decided to move forward unilaterally move forward without congressional approval, and that's not what he said. he said he has decided that military action is the right next step but that he is going to put the matter to a vote in congress, and of course we know in the past several days, more and more members of congress have been saying that they want a vote, and they think they deserve a vote before president obama actually launches any type of military strike, so it appears as though those voices have won in this case, so this
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will be put to a congressional vote. a couple things that stood out to me, craig. president obama saying that the chairman of the joint chiefs told him he is ready to move forward with military action, and that it's not necessarily time sensitive, that if this occurs in a month they would still be able to weaken assad's military capabilities. so that is one of the things that stood out. another thing, you didn't hear president obama say he was going to call congress back right now, and he said we will begin to debate this when congress comes back from recess, and that happens on september 9th, and we will have to circle back to the white house and make sure that's not their intention to come back, and some members of congress said they would agree to come back early and start the debate, and we have been talking to a number of members of congress and some of them feel strongly that military action is the right decision, but not everybody on the same page.
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so this is going to be a robust debate as everything is with this congress. this is a divided congress. they have struggled to pass simple things like the farm bill, so i anticipate that this will be quite a difficult thing for them to vote on, and in terms of timing, this certainly draws out any potential military action, and then that certainly races questions about momentum, but that is the headline that president obama is going to consult congress before he takes any action towards syria. craig? >> kristin welker from the white house, thank you. andrea mitchell, our chief foreign affairs correspondent is standing by. you just heard the president's comments as well. how surprised are you, again, just a few hours ago we were all under the impression based on the folks at the white house kpt meetings that the president was planning these classified briefings that he was going to be having with members, top congressional leadership, and then all of a sudden this announcement a few moments ago
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that he is going to let this debate play out in congress. >> well, i think that the situation really changed once you saw what happened in parliament. you had eight hours of robust debate in parliament and a negative vote, and that was quite a shock to the white house's plan. kerry coming out as forcefully as he did, followed by the president yesterday afternoon in a very quiet and calm but not very robust or passionate statement when he was in a photo opportunity with visiting leaders was a striking disconnect. and i think that showed you that they really needed to scramble and figure out what their game was going forward. >> how much pressure was this administration under from congressional -- not just congressional leaders, but allies? how much pressure were they under to put this to a vote behind the scenes? >> enormous pressure. i mean, they were hearing from democrats as well as
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republicans, and you heard senator tim kaine, and senator bob casey, and bob casey on msnbc this week on our show was saying that he supports military action, but what is the rush? why don't they wait until congress comes back and is able to debate it? tim kaine suggesting that he was really uncertain about them going forward this way, so democrats, key members of the senate as well as members of the house, of course, nancy pelosi was more supportive, at least publicly, but i think they realized that they had a real problem on their hands and if this did not go well there would not be a congressional buy in. >> thank you so much. chuck todd is also standing by for us. chuck, this is going to be a very interesting debate and vote for a number of reasons. of course in addition to syria, there's an immigration bill that is also on the hill right now, and there are a number of
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looming budget deadlines as well, and oh, now, by the way, starting september 9th there is going to be quite the vigorous debate, and then a vote on military action. >> to me, there were two extraordinary aspects to the president's remarks there. one, and behind the scenes they have been dealing with this problem for all week which was what is the hurry? they could never come up with a rational publicly to satisfy whether it was ban ki-moon at the u.n. or whether it was a member of congress of why did the strikes have to happen now? what is with the rush to do this now? why can't it wait? what did the president just go out and say. you know what, we are not in a hurry, we can wait and it can take place over the next month. and then the other extraordinary aspect, and you can go back to dick cheney when he was chief of staff for ford, but starting in 1980 every president from reagan on had been going on trying to
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strengthen the powers of the executive branch little by little and congress over time allowed it to happen, and here is the president, on a decision on air strikes, this is not a decision about putting troops into another country, and this is a decision on simply air strikes, something that frankly i think every president going back to reagan has done without congressional authorization somewhere at some point in time, and he is saying calling congress's bluff and saying you want in on this, fine. i can tell you the house vote is going to be so tricky. this is going to be -- they are going to be splits in both parties on this. you are going to have pelosi and boehner on one side, basically having to find the votes necessary to get this resolution passed, and the two of them both apparently are supportive of some action at this point, but if you recall, the nsa funding vote, do you remember the justin conners vote a couple weeks ago
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where they came close to passing a bill that would be taking money away on the nsa surveillance, and it was a phreut on both parties on the bill, and very narrowly it got defeated. that's a way to look at how the vote on syria will go. you will see the republicans and the liberal wing of the democratic party, and the isolationist wing of the republican party, they were on the losing side, but boy did they come close and they got 200 plus votes. >> chuck, it would seem to me that this is not just going to be a vote on military action in syria. this is in a lot of ways going to be a vote on america's role in the world moving forward. no? >> that's right. should america play the world's police officer, right? are we the ones in charge of deciding when an international law is broken, like assad did with the chemical weapons, since there is no other country willing to step up, is this the role of the united states?
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it's the role the united states believes it has been playing for some 60 years. the question now is there does seem to be a war fatigue because of iraq 20 years ago, and 20 years ago it was because of vietnam, but is that going to make this congress hesitant? i think in the house it's going to be close, and i assume in the senate they will have an easier hurdle, and in the house is where it will be hard and tricky work to do, and last night i had a conversation last night to national security officials who were admitting, the issue with congress, they were pooh poohing it with congress. government funding, immigration, debt sealing, and alienating them to syria would have made it that much harder on the agenda. >> richard engel is standing by
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for us in turkey. richard, you just heard the president's comments as well. how do you think that president obama's announcement and this decision to kick it to congress, how is this going to play with our allies? >> reporter: well, i think that i can tell you how it's going to play with a lot of syria tonight, one line in particular, this mission is not time sensitive. i think a lot of people who are in syria and are being shelled right now, who are in the school we profiled last night that was attacked by nepalm by the reseam, and people watched the images of children being buried every single day, and they are watching the united states throw this issue now into the realm of domestic politics. i think people who wanted to see the united states lead and who wanted to see the united states
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take punitive action are going to be very disappointed. the regime of bashar al assad which has been preparing can take something of a sigh of relief, and it can figure out for the next days or weeks how it should respond, and i think this does change the calculation. the longer this goes on, the more likely it becomes a domestic political issue, like you were just discussing with chuck, a variety of other things they have to balance and the fights between the conservatives and liberals and the two parties in washington, and it gets less and less connected to the daily realities of this war, which are absolutely time sensitive. >> richard, you just eluded to something and i want to follow-up, what is happening on the ground in syria right now, and what in today's decision could mean moving forward in the days and weeks from now, and is it reasonable to think the regime of assad will be able to
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move around things and make adjustments on the ground based on today's announcement that he might not otherwise have been able to make? >> i don't think the regime has been impacted or concerned by anything the united states or other countries have been saying or doing. there have been numerous attacks today, every 15 minutes or so leaving damascus, artillery shells have been fired into suburbs, and just a few days ago a ferocious attack in which napalm was dropped on a school, and we are hearing about attacks that take place in cities every day, and we are canvassing the telephones and skypes, hearing people who are desperate, out of medicine and out of money and out of food who are surrounded by government forces.
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i don't think the regime is concerned with the particular threats and they felt it had iran in its corner and hezbollah fighting with it on the ground and russia fully supportive, and look at the statements from vladimir putin today calling the u.s. case that the regime used chemical weapons, quote, utter nonsense. if they had not been worried before, what do they have to be worried about now? >> richard engel from turkey, thank you. and jim miklaszewski is standing by. and now, we are prepared to strike whenever. what do we know about the resources we have in the region right now? >> it may be difficult to keep these resources on standby, to go to war at any minute for an exstepbedded period of time. it can be done, but after a while it's taxing. they would have to switch out
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some of the ships for example, that would take part in this. look, can it be accomplished in the end? yes. does it take a toll? over time it does. i can tell you, for those here in the pentagon, and there are a loft voices here in the pentagon who are somewhat skeptical, not about the ability to do the mission that was laid out prematurely by the president, but what would it accomplish? and the repeated question we heard in the pentagon for the last ten days or so is if this doesn't happen, how is the president going to get out of it, because he made a very strong commitment, and this appears to be at least for the time being a temporary way out, circle the wagons and rally the forces and figure out if he can get the kind of support he needs. but no matter what you call it, it's an out, at least temporarily. if you have talked to people here in the pentagon.
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>> our chief pentagon correspondent, jim miklaszewski, thank you, and always good to see you. members of congress not wasting anytime responding to the president's announcement and decision. mcconnell issued a statement and he says in part today the president advised he will seek an authorization of the use of force from congress prior to initiating any actions against syria, and he goes on to say the president's role as commander in chief is always strengthened when he enjoys the express support of the congress. we are just starting our coverage here. president obama saying he will seek approval of congress much more to dig through in this hour. you are watching msnbc. stay with us. >> i have decided that the united states should take military action against syrian regime targets. this would not be an open-ended intervention. we would not put boots on the grounds. instead, our action would be
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we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. moreover, the chairman indicated to me the capacity to execute this mission is not time sensitive, and it will be effective tomorrow or next week or one month from now. and i am prepared to give that order. >> president obama just moments ago from the rose garden announcing that he will now be seeking authorization from congress. david gregory, moderator of nbc's "meet the press," and i understand you have got new information about precisely how the white house is going to go about seeking that authorization. what can you tell us? >> well, a couple new details. one, this congressional request,
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the request for authorization will go up to congress this afternoon, i am told, within the white house, and it's now being drafted and it will be short and to the point, and narrowly crafted as the president will seek authority to use all necessary and appropriate steps in the key phrase is to prevent and detour the use of chemical weapons. this will obviously trace that it's in connection with the use of chemical weapons by the assad regime, which intelligence officials and administration officials say it's a clear-cut case based on the evidence they have seen, and publicly secretary kerry saying that. i am told it became a vigorous debate yesterday within the national security team and this was a conversation that had been a major part of the back drop of these consultations and debates over what to do in the response to the attack, because the legal basis for unilateral action by
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the united states was difficult and it was known the united nations would not pass the authorization of tpoforce, and h britain's participation, it underscored the fact as a legal matter without an imminent threat it was tough for the united states to act. remember, this president is also somebody who has on his record saying no president has the short to wage military action unless there is an eminent threat. there was a conclusion in this case the president could absolutely do it with his powers as commander in chief, and then domestic politics, a lot of pressure building within democrats and 50 or so signing a letter and calling for congressional approval, and today a high ranking republican calling for the president to order congress back into session so that they can debate this issue, and i am also told, and
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this is significant, that the majority of those on the president's national security team argued that he should not seek congressional authority, and most thought he should not seek congressional authority. the president decided that while he didn't need it, that he wanted it, and this is also significant, and he did not call congress back into session, and they are due to return september 9th, which suggests that military action is not imminent, and the president saying it could happen a month from now or a week from now or a day from now, and maybe up to congressional leaders with whom he has consulted as to whether or not they want to come back to debate this. >> this congress, of course, does not enjoy a representation as being a deliberative body all of the time, and it does not enjoy the representation as being a body that is swift to act, and any idea in terms of a timetable when the debate might
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start or how long it might go and when there might be a vote? what happens when the president of the united states asks congress for the up or down vote and congress votes down this resolution, then what? >> those are good questions and i don't have the answers. we don't know timing but to get to the heart of it, does congress want to take the vote. look at the republican party in and of itself. you have the tea party folks who are opposed to intervention, and on "meet the press" tomorrow i will speak to senator rand paul who is opposed to a military strike, and the president says he wants to have this debate, and we don't know what the outcome of that is. and prime minister cameron asked parliament for a vote and didn't get it, and britain said we will sit this one out. what is powerful about today and the last couple of days, the legacy of the iraq war is playing out powerfully here, across the world, and playing out powerfully in the domestic
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politics and all the corridors of power, three years ago today president obama made an announcement about the end of the war in iraq, and now he is asking congress for the authority to wage a military strike in the middle east against syria. it's really striking where we are and where this president is, and who was opposed, he said, to dumb wars, who wanted to with draw from the conflicts of the bus bush era, and now is confrontsed that if we see chemical weapons being moved around, that would cross a red line. and now we get to the level of the monster us act forcing his hand. and then there are other questions of about what comes next, and what constitutes success, and what constitutes a
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war on syria, and how narrow of a war are we talking about? what is the intended air strikes against the regime if he can only survive it and come out on the other end and perhaps do it again. this is a very difficult territory diplomatically, and militarily, and stau taepbrateg and foreign policies. >> this debate will make for strange political bed tpoelfelb. andrea, prime minister david cameron tweeting just a few moments ago, apparently, quote, i understand and support barack obama's position on syria. had what not happened or what happened in britain just a few days ago, if it had not
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happened, andrea, do we think the president of the united states would have made the same comments from the rose garden today? >> for one thing, what happened in great britain increased the pressure for members of congress. you heard more and more people from the president's own party saying if the british can debate this, and if they can have a debate, why can't we have the same kind of debate here. they wanted it both ways. many of the members, especially the republicans who hammered at the white house all week saying they should be getting more confrontation, they didn't want to take that difficult vote and they wanted to be in the position of criticizing the president perhaps, but didn't want to be put on the spot. now he is calling their bluff. and harry reid has talked about bringing the senate back earlier, and the house is going to be the really difficult place. you do have senators like rand paul who david gregory will be
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interviewing on "meet the press" tomorrow exclusively, and he and others from the tea party wing of the republican party are going to be opposed to this, and there are others, john mccain was on jay leno last night, and he was saying what the president was likely to be offering was a cosmetic strike, and he was very strongly critical last night on "the tonight show" of what the president was likely going to be doing. so you have got a deeply divided republican party and a deeply divided democratic party, and i suspect the senate will be an easier vote than the house. >> it was interesting to hear tkaeufr identify talk about what he was hearing in terms of the debate within the president's national security circle. and a majority of those in the room are saying mr. president, this is a bad idea, this is not something you want to send down the street to congress to tackle, and the president ultimately deciding, no, we want to have the debate. the debate, again, this is just not going to be a debate about
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syria, and this is going to be a debate about the future of america's role in the world. >> the first gulf war resolution, which was debated in the senate in december of 2002, that was a one-day debate, i believe, a saturday, an all-day saturday special debate, and you had people like the chairman of the armed services committee, the opposition party going up against former president bush, bush 41. so we have had fairly well contained debates, and that was an extraordinary debate in the senate back then. but twice you have had debates in congress for two iraq wars, and at the same time you have had presidents going all the way back to ronald reagan where presidents have taken limited authority, and there was grenada, and bill clinton going against what he was hoping to be bin laden in 1998 after the bombing of our embassies in
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africa, and that was august of 1998, and a failed mission because it does not produce any results, and it was also bill clinton in 1993 taking a limited one-day action, really five minutes on june 28th against saddam hussein for a threatened assassination attempt against former president bush 41, so there had been limited cruise missile attacks and other similar attacks by presidents, panama, and others without congressional mandate. he could have done it without mandate, and some are suggested the council on foreign relations is saying this is a bad president, because president obama is limiting president authority and re-ent interpreti
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the war act ppb >> we will talk more about that on the other side of the break, and andrea mitchell, thank you, and we always appreciate your insight and perspective. [ male announcer ] these days, a small business can save by sharing.
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hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business. ♪ welcome back. i want to bring in p.j. crowley, and lynn sweet, and gayle lamon, and david rhodes, a columnist for reuters, and a big thanks to all of you for sticking around. p.j., let me start with you. we were having the conversation while the president was speaking, or shortly after the president wrapped up and we were talking about what message he might be sending, what we might not be hearing, perhaps. are we looking at a president saying, you know what, this
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military strike might be more than just a couple of days, and it might be more than a couple days, and is he seeking congressional authorization because he understands there is a good chance we might get pulled into something substantial in the middle east? >> i think first of all he is suggesting that he doesn't have all of the legality and legitimacy that he is comfortable with. and because of what happened in britain and elsewhere, he doesn't feel he has sufficient backing by the rest of the world, the rest of the region, so he will use this period going to the g-20 to try and drum up more support for what the united states is committed to do. but this debate the president has invited is usually about going to war. and so you have a contradiction between the language of a limited military action, which a
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president is fully authorized to do, and remember two years ago the president engaged in a nato intervention in libya, and the administration called that not hostilities, and that campaign took six months. now we are talking about something that will last one to three days as a first step, but i think what the president is signaling by getting congression congressional buy in from the outset, and we are stronger when we act together, but what he is suggesting is, he is not sure what is going to happen in the backside of this, and it's possible if not likely that not only will there be an escalation but another use of chemical weapons, so what the president is seeking is authority that i am going to take the first shot and then i will have the authority to take subsequent shots as necessary to enforce what the administration has put forward, which is the compelling case, you know, that there has
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to be an international response to the chemical attack. >> just got word a few moments ago, house speaker, john boehner, issuing a statement, saying in part in consultation with the president we expect that the house will consider a measure the week of september 9th. this provides the president time to make his case to congress and to the american people as well. i want to bring in gayle into the situation. we just heard from andrea mitchell a few minutes ago, and it would seem this would potentially set a dangerous precedent, no? >> i think that's the criticism you will hear is that this is a crowd sourced foreign policy that is more about domestic politics than national interests. but i think it's actually going back to what chuck was saying earlier and david gregory, which is that this is not just about iraq, this is also about libya, and this is about a congress that really did feel like they were an afterthought and not a
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critical partner, and that the call on thursday that the administration had with the hill i was told was rather painful and this is a reflection of the reality that we have gone to the policy of doing just enough to enough is enough in ten days. >> david, you wrote about this friday. you wrote about the members of congress who remained unconvinced and you wrote in part those clear efforts to placate opponents of military action appear to be failing and warning of another iraq or are fueling this. how far do you think that this president is going to have to go to get members of congress onboard, and do we think that it's -- there is a real chance
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in congress that this vote to authorize could fail? >> i think there is a real chance that it could fail. it's a fascinating moment. the president in a sense is completely reversing direction here, and he says he has the aauthority to do cyber surveillance and now he is stopping and saying i need congress's support. i think it's a positive step. it's a hugely divided country about when you spoke about earlier, about the war on terror, about america's role in the world. we are haunted by iraq, and i called the debate to be done, and maybe the debate will exercise the demons of iraq and americans will feel we need to stand up and respond to chemical attacks, or maybe americans will say no, we shouldn't, and we are seeing a fundamental change in the u.s.'s role, and a statement by americans that they don't want to be involved. >> you wrote about the credibility problem and you talked about being fooled as a
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country with regards to iraq as well, and what did the president's announcement today do for america's credibility? >> well, what the white house is trying to do is rather interesting, craig, because they are releasing information that otherwise wouldn't be out. specifically how they learned what they learned to raefeach t conclusion that there is chemical weapons used. and congress will demand that because we have been fooled before, and to echo that famous song, you don't want to be fooled again when it comes to something this serious. so congress is going to want to learn more than the assessment the administration put out yesterday to look at the evidence from the nsa snooping that we have been talking about, and they have phone interception from somebody in syrian leadership, and they told us social media is an open source,
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and the spy satellite, and usually you don't get this specific information, and the administration needs to do this to build credibility with the public and with members of congress. >> i want to get your perspective, colonel, because i want to talk to you about the message that this sends to the syrian regime. here you have the leader of the free word, the largest military on the planet saying we have our weapons in place, and we have our ships in the mediterranean, but we want to talk about it a little bit more, and maybe a few days, and maybe a few weeks, and how do you think bashar al assad and his forces hears that message? >> if he can't understand how our government works he is sure completely confused, and doing all the nonsense on purpose or not. he has two choices, he could hunker down and do nothing,
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which i were here i would do, and that would make it that much more difficult for the president to do what he wants to do, or in the alternative, he can take the week or two, and it could be two weeks, to renew attacks on civilians and on the rebels, and this would be a bad mistake if he wants to survive for very long. but i am -- this is quite an astonishing period in which we spent two years not paying any attention to what assad was doing, and then drawing a line in the sand and saying we are coming after you, and i can come after you whether i have anybody's approval or not, and then changing his mind mid stream. quite frankly it's a real mess, and i agree with richard haus and others who said this sets an extremely bad precedent, both for how the president can exercise his authority as president of the united states
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and a very precedent for how we are viewed and how we can exercise our power around the world, very, very untiedy. >> what do you make of that, the precedent? >> it shows how difficult it is to balance domestic politics and international policies. he did have the authority to act now if he chose, and he said i want to act but i want something else first. i do think that it will signal to a russia and iran or others that, okay, i am prepared to act, but in the meantime, how do we connect this to a political process? so there will be a window of opportunity there even though i think it will embolden bashar al assad. but to pick up on what lynn just said, it will be interesting because the fact the president wants to have a debate on syria
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in the same way that we have previous debated issues like iraq, it's going to -- it's going to create a dynamic where it will -- the perception that syria and iraq will be enhanced, and the administration spent all week long describing by syria and iraq are different, but now you are going to have the next two weeks arguing about why syria and iraq are the same. >> stick around, guys. i want to continue the tkeconve on the other side of the break. >> all members of congress of both parties, i ask you to take this vote for our national security. i am looking forward to the debate. in doing so i ask you, members of congress, to consider that some things are more important than partisan differences or the
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that's the power of german engineering. again, president obama announcing a short time ago that he is going to be seeking authority to prevent and detour any additional use of chemical weapons in syria. he is going to be sending that up to the hill we're told sometime this week, and house speaker john boehner saying the debate on the hill will start sometime the week of september 9th. we are going to continue talking about what all of this means, and meanwhile, right now, nearly 2 million refugees are camped out in neighboring countries in more than half of those displaced are children. rob maroney joins me live, and he is joining me via skype, and he is the director in jordon
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where a half million refugees are now livering with the organization that helps people recover from conflicts and natural disasters as well. rob, first of all, just in the broadest terms here, what are the conditions like at the camp where you are? >> well, there are two camps in the country right now. the first one that was opened a year ago, and the second one is being built now and should be open in a couple weeks. and there are about 120,000 people in the camp, making it the second largest refugee camp in the world. people are living in tents and also in these metal caravans. and more or less, everything has to be provided, food, shelter, education for children, medical, and everything. >> and the numbers as you just indicated there, the numbers are absolutely staggering. just last year there were 100,000 refugees, and by april
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there were 800,000, and now that number is more than doubled to close to 2 million, and 500,000 have fled to jordon alone, with the expectations of missile strikes at some point perhaps in the next few weeks, have you seen an increase in just the last few days at your camps? >> no, because right now the borders are being controlled in terms of the numbers of people that they are allowing to come across, so we have not seen a large increase in numbers, but we are expecting that should there be some type of major incident in the coming days. so right now mercy core is prepositioning with supplies, blankets, clothes, mattresses, and hygiene kits, and lots of supplies that will be needed as soon as people come across. most people come across literally with the shirts on
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their back, and maybe one small bag with them, aside from that, they have nothing. >> what are you hearing from those folks? what are you hearing from the people who have been displaced there about u.s. intervention? >> well, most of the people in the camp are definitely not with the assad regime, so they are frustrated and have been waiting for a long time for major players to come in and help the opposition, so from their point of view they are hoping the u.s. will get involved. >> we have amateur video showing what it claims to be, the lines of people backed up at the syrian/turkey border at the camp where you are. is there a waiting period for these refugees before they can enter? >> no, no, when they come across the border they are picked up by the jordan military and
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tkreufretkreufr driven across a small no man's land, and then they are processed and provided shelter and basic supplies and then a new home. >> thank you so much and thank you for your time. thank you for the work that you are doing in that part of the world. >> thanks. at the top of the hour, we will continue to talk about what is happening with regard to the president's announcement and the decision today. we will take a quick break and be right back. i'm phil mickelson, pro golfer. when i was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, my rheumatologist prescribed enbrel for my pain and stiffness, and to help stop joint damage. [ male announcer ] enbrel may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculosis, lymphoma, other cancers, nervous system and blood disorders, and allergic reactions have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region
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i want to check in now with retired four-star general, and, and also an msnbc military analyst. general, let me get your response to what we heard from president obama roughly an hour ago saying that he is now going to be seeking authority from congress, a fairly narrow authority but authority
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nonetheless, how surprised were you? >> i am enormously proud and relieved that's what he elected to do, and i think it's brilliant politically, and more importantly if he can get a robust endorsement by the congress, which i don't think he will get, but it will move forward united, and if not, he personally has not lost his credibility, and i think the u.s. can point to congress in this case, they want to go forward. it's a huge relief to me personally that this is the out come. >> you said you don't think he will get a robust endorsement from congress? you don't think he will get an endorsiendorsement or it won't significant? >> the latter. i don't think they are going to give him what is required, and i think there will be a tepid
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endorsement. secretary kerry made the argument successfully that assad did it, and that's not on the table and the question is do we have the political will to bust up the assad regime, and then live with the aftermath of a sunni jihadists majority in the country, killing the christians and the kurds, and oh, by the way, the chemical weapons are going to be all overseera in the middle east when assad goes under. that part is not clear why that serves our own interest. >> what do you make of the idea that gregory david mentioned at the top of the hour, among his national security team, a majority of these folks said this is a bad idea, and at the end of the day the president deciding, well it's my call and this is what kawe're going to d.
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>> i think the president's instincts on this and probably vice president biden was dead on the money. there is also a constitutional issue. people talk about this is weakening the precedent. nonsense. every intervention with u.s. military power there was a direct u.s. military security interest or the nato and the u.n. legitimized it. and this in case, it was reaching way out of the lane, so i think the president and probably vice president biden were dead on the money, make congress vote yea or nay. you know better than i, they vote on nonsense issues all the time trying to shame each other into political positions that they think will hurt them. there have been 50 votes on obama care, and now they have to step up to the bar, and the
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democrats have to say am i going to vote for war, and the republicans have to say, am i going to vote for obama? coming up, as the president hits the pause, as he hits the pause button on the war, strong reaction from leading voices on capitol hill. new details next. pools... polly wants to know if we can pick her up. yeah, we can make room. yeah. [ male announcer ] ...office space. yes, we're loving this communal seating. it's great. [ male announcer ] the best thing to share? a data plan. at&t mobile share for business. one bucket of data for everyone on the plan, unlimited talk and text on smart phones. now, everyone's in the spirit of sharing. hey, can i borrow your boat this weekend? no. [ male announcer ] share more. save more. at&t mobile share for business. ♪ a man who doesn't stand still. but jim has afib, atrial fibrillation -- an irregular heartbeat, not caused by a heart valve problem. that puts jim at a greater risk of stroke. for years, jim's medicine tied him
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that meet our higher kosher standards. and only a good, old-fashioned slow-motion bite is gonna capture all that kosher delight. and when your hot dog's kosher, that's a hot dog you can trust. hebrew national. just as i will take this case to congress, i will also deliver the message to the world while the u.n. investigation has some time to report on its findings, we will insist an atrocity must not be investigated but must be contpropbtd. >> he said he would be including congress in the decision of whether to take military action in syria. kristin welker is at the white house and you have reaction to
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the president's speech. >> that's right, reaction is pouring in from capitol hill, and john baoehner, and eric cantor said they were pleased with the president's decision, and representative peter king, republican of new york just released a statement opposing this decision by the president, and in very strong terms. i will read you part of the statement. he said, quote, president obama is be a dough indicating his responsibility as commander in chief, and i will skip ahead to the end of the statement, and he said the president doesn't need 335 members of congress to enforce his own red line, and that's in reference to the fact that president obama said it would be a red line for bashar al assad to use chemical weapons against his own people, and he said action would be taken, so you are hearing the two sides of this debate. it's interesting, of course,
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that you have some republicans, some of the more hawkish republicans urging president obama not only to act in these past days, but urging him to take stronger action than he was considering, and so in the run up to today's announcement, you have republicans allied with the president and democrats saying, hold on, let's put this to a vote. the robust discussion continues, and as you have been discussing, craig, certainly putting this to a congressional vote will draw out the process for quite sometime. congress goes back into session on seplt september 9th, and they will begin to debate whether or not they want to green light military action in syria at that time. president obama saying he was not necessarily going to call them back into session, and they said we will wait until they return from the recess, and reaction does continue to pour
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in, and it matches what is happening outside, protesters outside the white house urging president obama not to take military action against syria, and the country sharply divided on the issue. we are seeing that essentially play out in the halls of congress as well. >> we know president obama was working the phones before the statement in the rose garden. >> that's right. >> what do we know about how the president is going to be spending the remainder of his saturday? >> we know he was on the phone with congressional leaders this morning making them aware of his decision, and they were supportive of his decision and they backed his decision. we know president obama left the white house and we don't know where he is going, and it's a saturday afternoon, and so we will have to see where he ultimately winds up. but certainly he spent the first part of this morning working the phones, and we know that yesterday he was on the phone with british prime minister as well as the president of france, and so as you know, craig, part
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of this decision came in the wake of the british parliament's vote not to authorize military action in syria. i think that came as a surprise to the house and a surprise to the administration, and so in the wake of that vote i think that that was one of the factors that led president obama to re-evaluate his decision to unilaterally go into syria, and i am just learning we do know where president obama is going. he is going to play golf this afternoon. we are just getting that bit of breaking news. so made that announcement about syria and now he is headed to the golf course. >> i am sure there are a lot of folks having a field day with that one on twitter. thank you so much, and we do appreciate that. tensions in the region of course are on high alert earlier today, and u.n. inspectors left syria leaving through beirut, and the lead investigator briefed secretary general ban ki-moon, and we are told a final
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report may not come for two or three weeks now. what was the general feeling on the ground thereafter the u.n. team left syria? are people on edge? >> reporter: yeah, what a difference the past 12 hours have been, and on one man hand before the speak, after the u.n. inspectors left, there was a building of anxiety and tension and everybody was bracing themselves for a strike, and it was not a matter of if it was going to happen and it was when, and that was a major concern of who we were speaking to, and they were bracing and warning of the possible kwaupbss of an attack on syria, and shortly after the speech we are getting reaction, slightly different reaction, and some of the opposition have been surprised by president obama's announcement and using harsh language, saying the president
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had the moral responsibility to act and not to pass it on to congress, and you can expect more reaction in the similar tone that we are hearing from the syrian opposition, as well as other umbrella organizations that fall under the syrian opposition. >> let me follow-up on what you just said. i know you are in regular contact with the syrian opposition and you have contacts on the ground and a lots of contacts on the ground in syria, and over the next two or three weeks, and we don't know how long it will take for this to play out on capitol hill, what can we expect to happen on the tkpwrou ground in syria? >> reporter: well, they believe bashar al assad will step up his campaign, and president obama's speech will allow president assad to continue killing and that means the death of innocent syrians will continue for the time being as the u.s. debates the political decision. you can expect the opposition is
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feeling under pressure now given that assad himself is breathing a sigh of relief. you can anticipate the military will feel emboldened by it and they will expect that they will continue their operations the way they have despite the pressure mounted on them, and so this is not going to slow down the fighting or killing and from the perspective of those within the syrian government and those that support the military's crackdown, they may feel emboldened to continue on with their operations. >> thank you so much. always appreciate you. want to bring colonel jack jacobs back in here, and p.j. crowley and david rode, and the executive director of the syrian emergency task force, a nonprofit group opposed to the assad regime, and the director of the middle east studies at
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george mason university, a big thanks to awful you for sticking around. i want to get to some of the conversation we are talking about in just a second. p.j., the president working the phones, and makes the announ announcement and then goes out for golf, and that strikes me as odd. >> i am a golfer, so i can appreciate a nice day on the golf course. i think the white house has a challenging message here, and there is no forced error throughout the week in terms of allowing the rhetoric to get ahead of the decision-making process and the political process, and so all week long it was an action is necessary, and an action is vitally important to redeem the red line, and now let's slow the enforcement of the red line down a bit. i would say -- i do think that
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in defense of the national security council and the process, it was circumvented in the bush administration. there were not these kinds of robust debates where the president was making very significant decisions. i think the fact that there was a robust debate agreement and disagreement within the national security council, that serves the president as you would expect him to, and obviously they have had difficulty managing the coherence of the narrative surrounding that narrow process. >> two questions, generally action to the president's comments, and then what do you see as the most likely outcome of any u.s. strike on syria and to syria? >> first of all, i think that we have to respect the president's decision to go to the representatives of the people to get authorization for the strike, which is something that the syrian people -- this is the very thing they have been fighting for.
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unfortunately i think the reaction we need to be getting is the reaction about iran and hezbollah, and they are celebrating today, and i think they perceive this as hesitant see and weakness. chemical weapons have been used for a long time, this is the biggest scale though. and as long as the strike that may come if congress approves and if the president goes ahead with this, which is very important for the united states and its credibility, i hi think a limited fashion, it must be a plan that pushes for true transition. so far the assad regime is getting signals from the international community and the united states that he has the green light to continue what he is doing, which is fighting his own people. >> how will the president's announcement today, and first of
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all, the president's announcement today, and unilateral action, how do both of those things be seen by other arab nations? >> well, to begin with, i think it's a horrible idea. what we have right now is a very uncalculated adventure that might have grave consequences for the united states and for pay pull in the region, notably the syrian public that we are trying to supposedly to protect. what we are doing in effect is launching a war basically declaring a war on sovereign nation on evidence that has not surfaced yet, and i do not think that we should be concerned with the reactions to the president's words from iran or hezbollah, and i think we should not concerned about what is happening here in the united states, and look at some of the serious dissenting voices, and perhaps acknowledge that because of the international and
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regional opposition to this problematic move or impending move, i think the president is stuck, and one of the reasons he is going to congress, which apparently historically he did not have to do that, is basically to just make sure that he can say that he is keeping his word regarding the red lines, but i think it's an uncalculated adventure and it's not going to bode well for the united states or the syrian people and for all concerned. >> colonel jack, what happens if there -- when there is an up or down vote? what happens if there is a down vote and the congress of the united states says no, we don't want to have anything to do with what is happening in syria? then what, besides agg on the administration? >> i they it will be a testimte
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approval, and it will be long and drawn out and noisy and it's liable to go down. and i can't decide if it goes down, if president obama launches an attack without congressional authorization, which i don't think that he would probably do, or he breathes a sigh of relief, he is off the hook now, and he can point to the congress and say i gave it my best shot, and is patting himself on the back and was fortunate at calling this one. i think he is probably punching himself in the face every since he said he drew the line in the sand and said we were going to go as soon as you guys use chemical weapons, and he said i should not the have said that because it reduced my option and the option of my country down the line, and that's exactly what he did.
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he may view a vote as congress getting him off the hook? >> i would like if you could in the simplest of terms to explain to the viewers watching and listening, the opposition on the ground in syria, much have been made of the fact that this opposition is fractured, and this opposition in addition to being splintered, there are a significant number of extremists who are part of the opposition, and in that if the assad regime is toppled, then our friends, so to speak right now on the ground, may not be our friends in the end. what can you tell us about the opposition and who makes up the opposition and what we can expect from the opposition if and when assad was toppled? >> i think we have to remember the beginning of the resolution was almost eight months of peaceful demonstrations against the regime that responded with military attacks against civilians and the very first -- the formation of the armed opposition on the ground in syria were those soldiers that
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defected and decided they should not shoot at civilians and defected and decided to protect the protest, and the protests continue even though they are not covered and in the lack of leadership and attention by the international community, has left syria at the mercy of the different forces within the region, and that are supporting specific interests to the region, and at the end of the day when it comes to extremist, there are a very small percentage of the armed opposition, and if we don't act in helping the moderate opposition on the ground, we may be closer to, you know, to increasing that percentage of extremist that are there. and we are in syria almost on a monthly basis and we see the people and the constant protest that continue to come out in a peaceful way, and we see many in the armed opposition that value the civilian democratic syria and that remains the heart of
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the revolution, and unfortunately, extremism must be marginized and that's done by greater leadership by the united states and at the end of the day it's a regime, and his allies are admirable allies, and there are thousands of hezbollah troops, and active combat roles and constant flow of russian and iranian weapons there, and the rest of the world that support the people of syria and its revolution have supported them with statements and i think we need a greater pressure politically and militarily to get assad to come to the negotiation table for transition and be held responsible for his crimes. >> we will come back with the panel after this. >> i know well that we are weary of war, and the american people had the good sense to know we cannot underline the conflict in syria with our military, and in
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that part of the world, and the hopes of the arab spring unleashed forces of change that will take many years to resolve. ♪ turn around ♪ every now and then i get a little bit hungry ♪ ♪ and there's nothing good around ♪ ♪ turn around barry ♪ i finally found the right snack ♪ ♪
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back with the panel now. also i want to bring in lynn sweet as well, the washington bureau chief for the "washington sun times." let me start with you because you spent a lot of time writing, and your book, of course, devoted to the changing middle east and you spend a lot of time talking about what we are talking about today, america's changing role in the world. the debate that we are going to see play out over the next at least nine days in this country
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is going to be one that is filled with a great deal of rhetoric from both sides, and it's also going to be, i would imagine, at least, very significant in the sense that it's going to be a debate not just about how we respond to syria, but perhaps how we behave as a country going forward. no? >> yeah, i agree. secretary kerry talked about this. you know, let's say that we ignore this, and what a happens when israelis are gassed? what happens when south koreans are gassed by north korea? that might not happen, and many say it's not our responsibility and we are dealing with hypotheticals. this is not the cold war. the whole foreign policy establishment is going to tkau stain the move by obama, and we need to have the debate as a country. can we pull out of the middle east?
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israel is the underlying issue, and we want to draw a red line in a sense to stop assad now before he transfers chemical weapons to hezbollah and they can use that against israel. it's a fascinating debate. i think it's going to be a close vote. >> lynn, how is this going to play out politically for the president? >> it will be -- it depends on the details, and just judging from some of the reaction i am getting from the members of congress, the first threshold has passed and they wanted to be consult consulted, and they are c consult consulted, and a lot will be determined by the details they learn about the scope of the mission, and the more limited it is, i think the better chance of getting a robust vote in the house and senate, but still tough in the house. >> david gregory told us about
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the request going up this afternoon is going to be narrow in scope, and president obama asking congress to authorize force to prevent and detour the use of chemical weapons in syria, the future use of chemical weapons in syria, and it's also -- i would imagine, it's going to be interesting, the political bedfellows made in the debate. >> absolutely, one person that will be more important or should be put in the spotlight because the influence is here, and that's the new united nations ambassador, samantha power, and she wrote a book, and she was an adviser for pwaurpl since she was a united states senator, and she comes from the point of view that you cannot let mass atrocities happen as they did in world war ii and kosovo, and the
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world stands by and does nothing. however, this doesn't temper my words that this still will be a tough vote because it's a domestic load of concerns for many in congress. >> what kind of support in syria does the united states have right now? >> there might be support for a strike and a lot of what is happening in syria in terms of external intervention or external movements is really coming out of desperation. it's not, i think, the matrix we should be paying attention to right now. i want to say a couple things regarding the danger that the other speaker eluded to regarding syria using chemical weapons sreuz asrae israel, and israel has attacked syria with jet fighters and syria has not responded at all, because of course israel has, as you all know, a stock pile of nuclear
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weapons and nuclear warheads, more than anybody can count. i agree with you, craig, that there needs to be a debate. the problem is all of this discussion on not just the show but on all shows is that there is not a serious engagement, a serious public engagement or debate on these issues generally regarding u.s. policies, and what we have is commentary on a very limited set of options that are already predetermined by policy, and this policy is actually based on unrealistic presumptions and assumptions, including how the united states is a bough nevada lunt actor. and for us to continue to talk as if all of these are givens is the actual problem. the only solution to this is a
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political solution that the united states as the most powerful country in history, not just on earth, can start by a serious discussion with the russians and other players, and however the problem is that we are not ready to actually have this discussion because it will take compromises, compromises that the united states is not willing to make in terms of support, and a racist regime like the state of israel and dictatorships like saudi arabia, and this is the problem, and we are not willing to budge on other issues and so the bargaining power is very limited. these are the issues that we need to discuss in light of what is happening in the region, and in light of us getting it wrong every time since we fraudulently attacked and invaded the country of iraq on false premises. >> a big thanks to all of you for sticking around this
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all of us should be accountable as we move forward and that can only be accomplished with a vote. i am confident in the case our government has made without waiting for u.n. inspectors. i am comfortable going forward without the approval of a united nations security council that so far has been completely paralyzed and unwilling hold assad accountable. >> president obama announcing earlier this afternoon he will be asking congress for authorization to use military force in syria. joining me live with new information about how precisely the president made that decision, and nbc white house correspondent, kristin welker. >> reporter: senior administration officials giving us fascinating insight as to how president obama came to the conclusion. all week long apparently the
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president had been of the mind that a military strike was necessary and he was prepared to go it alone and prepared to unilaterally attack syria, and then these mounting calls for members of congress, but particularly we are told by senior administration officials what happened in britain, and the fact that the british parliament voted no, not to authorize a strike against syria, and that is something that really weighed heavily on president obama apparently, so last night we are told according to senior administration officials, the president took a walk with his chief of staff, and it was during that walk with his chief of staff that president obama decided he wanted to put this to a congressional vote. so that is how the decision came about. we are also told that the president's own philosophy played into this, as you no back in 2007, and president obama said he believed that any type of military action required congressional approval, and
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that's another piece of this puzzle. but we are told that the big thing that stands out was that vote that happened in the uk. so moving forward, the white house saying they are still confident that they will get congressional approval, and the decision not to call congress back, craig, is apparently because of the jewish holiday, and the president wanted to give everybody time to celebrate that holiday and come back on september 9th as planned and have a robust and swift debate about this and hold a vote. >> do we know at this point what role the president will play in the debate? we heard at the end of the speech, we heard him make the case for why military use is necessary, and can we expect to see and hear more of president obama over the next ten days or so essentially on the stump maybing the case for military
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strikes, or is that something he will leave to members of congress or perhaps the vice president? >> i think it will be both. we will hear from president obama on this and i expect there to be a number of phone calls that go on behind the scenes. as you know, there has been some very swift and in some cases strong reaction to this, and representative peter king for example of new york saying that the president has abdocated his authority, and weakening the presidency. he would like to see this vote in congress move swiftly and of course for him to get authorization to move forward with the strike. if he doesn't get authorization, this will be politically very difficult for him, and so he is arguably in a political perilous position right now as he awaits the debate, and then vote in congress. so i would anticipate the president will be engaged and
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behind the scenes working the phones, and of course vice president biden who does have strong relationships with a number of members of congress, i anticipate that he will be quite active in the behind the scenes negotiations as well. and one more point i would like to make, craig, as we were awaiting president obama's remarks, you will recall that i said he was in the oval office on the phone, and we are now learning he was on the phone with the president of france alerting him about his decision to put this to a congressional vote. why france? because france was really the united states only ally in this, and france had given the green light and said they would join in the military effort and stand with the united states, what we thought would be a military limited strike against syria. craig? >> kristin welker, thank you for that information. you eluded to reaction coming in, and a senator robert
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menendez, he made a statement. in part the syrian regime and others like it must understand red lines are indellable, and our foes should never request the resolve of the united states, and we say what we mean and we mean what we say and don't look away when undeniable war crimes are committed. i will work with the senate leadership in support of military force as quick as possible. coming up, new information on precisely how the president's decision is playing out overseas. discover card.
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yeah. i heard about progressive's "name your price" tool? i guess you can tell them how much you want to pay and it gives you a range of options to choose from. huh? i'm looking at it right now. oh, yeah? yeah. what's the... guest room situation? the "name your price" tool, making the world a little more progressive. mixed reaction to the president's decision from overseas. let's go live to moscow, and earlier today vladimir putin urged the united states not to rush into an attack. he cited iraq, and what are you hearing on the ground and what is the reaction there in moscow? >> reporter: no official reaction yet, craig.
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it's late here, almost midnight. i think there will be some satisfaction. i wouldn't say necessarily they will feel they won a victory but they will likely be pleased given the arguments they were making and their support for the assad regime, and all of this as well puts a different light on things internationally, craig, because remember, here in russia, in just a few days' time, the g-20 of world leaders will be held, so before the u.s. votes, there will be a gathering of international leaders here in russia, and hosted by a nation who are opposed to what the president is proposing, and making their arguments and there will be leaders from around the world including the prime minister of britain, and what will he have to say given that his own lawmakers voted and told him they do not want him to be involved in any action, and what will other countries have to say. you could see a well closely watched international debate take place here in russia ahead
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of the debates in the u.s. >> if there is a congressional vote for military action, what kind of response could we potentially see from russia? >> reporter: there would not be a military response, i would say. they do have citizens in syria, and we think some intelligent agencies, and some members of the military, and we don't know precise numbers, and clearly if an attack were to end up with casualties who are russian citizens by mistake even, then that might put a different picture on things. the russians do have some naval vessels in the mediterranean off the coast, however it's a small fleet and it's not thought they would be likely to take any kind of action, and that said, the syrian regime, the assad regime does rely on russian support, and their tanks are fueled by russian fuel, and if for
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example, then, the complication escalated and there was a naval block aid, for example, then you might see the russians in a standoff in that respect, and that's not what the president is talking about, and so i think to be honest, what you are likely to see, if it was to go ahead is very angry words from russia, but no particular actions. >> more bluster. thank you so much. always appreciate you reporting. and we have atia in tel aviv. what is the mood in israel like tonight? >> reporter: it's quiet there and it was the end of the sabbath tonight, and israelis going on with their lives and officials saying if the u.s. did strike, there would not be a syrian reaction against israel to real tate, and that being said we have spoken to sources here in israel who listened to president obama's speech, and the speech was televised on
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israelie television, and various sources with different reactions, and one said it's troubling, netanyahu, saying it could be a precursor of how president would react if israel did go to war with iran, would he make it into a political process rather than stepping up and defending israel. and that being said, other sources are saying president obama was strong and determined and the fact he is taking this to congress should not be a worry for israel, because in fact, going into some kind of war with syria or striking syria is not necessarily a benefit to israel, when you look at who president assad is fighting, and he is no friend to israel and in fact he is an enemy to israel, and the rebel fighters have members of hezbollah, and one of the quietest borders syria has had in the last 40 years, that
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is since the 1973 war when syria attacked israel and israel took over, it's been one of the quietest borders, and syria has not attacked israel since then, and it's not fighting with hezbollah or the militants in egypt, or with hamas in gaza, so therefore if the rebels did takeover and took overseera and assad was pushed out of power, what would that mean to israel? >> thank you so much. we also have this reaction just in from a spokesman from the syrian rebel army. president obama is sending contradictory messages. he promised to help and now promises delays. we will have much more next. you are watching msnbc. equipped with droid zap for advanced photo sharing
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colonel jack jacobs, and p.j. crowley, and matt roufp, also joining us, and lynn sweet, washington bureau chief for the "chicago sun-times." thank you for sticking around. i want to start with you, p.j., and talk a little bit about how the decision is playing out there, and the message that is being received in israel, the message being that well if this is how president obama is going to handle foreign policy going forward, this may very well be a dangerous precedent when it comes to matters of the jewish state. >> it gets back to the nature of the debate we will see in the next two or three weeks. it will be about what to do about syria, and in that context, the administration always looked at developments in the middle east through the lens of iran, and syria while important and tragic is not as
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important to the future of the region in the administration's view as dealing with the iranian nuclear question. but there will be a debate about syria, and there will be a debate about how this fits in with other equities in the region, and it will also have implications in 2014. the president had freedom of action to act now, and he has delayed that, but now when you think about the end of the afghan war in 2014, at that point, what does happen in terms of an authorization of the use of military force for what has been called the war on terror, and what happens in terms of what the president will do in countries like pakistan, and yemen, and what is the role of a presidential -- a president to pull a trigger and what kind of permission he needs from congress for a variety of issues from iran to the future of how we fight terrorism around the world. >> we suspected this debate that is going to play out on the hill
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will make for strange political bedfellows and they are now starting to climb into that bed. senator ted cruise defending the summit in he said that he welcomes a debate in congress. let's take a listen. i am very glad that he has listened to the bipartisan calls. for him to go to congress and seek congressional authorization before any possible use of force in syria. that was the right thing to do. >> there's senator cruz. senator rand paul issuing a statement saying that he is encouraged that president obama now says that he will fulfill his constitutional obligation to seek authorization. nancy pelosi also siding with the president, creating that this is its right. that it will make our country and the response to syria stronger. a stack of debates -- excuse me, a stack of responses from
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senators on both sides of the aisle. congressmen on both sides of the aisle coming out. many in favor of the president. some of them not so much. i'm very interested to get your perspective, matt welch, on what the president announced. >> i think the strange bedfellows that you mentioned are what got him here. let's remember two years ago we were not talking about congressional authorization in libya. what changed in those two years? that's a very interesting question. part of the answer is that this year may be starting with rand paul's filibuster which got interesting bipartisan support about drones. going on to edward snowden and the revelations there and weeks ago we almost defunded the nsa. the republican from michigan got a lot of bipartisan support for defunding the nsa in the wake of these revelations that have come up. the president is feeling that wind and that pressure and that 79% number of the americans who wanted to see congressional authorization here. i he's been pushed into this position. i am very, very glad like the
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people that you referenced at the top of this. that he made this decision. and it shows that maybe after decades of the executive branch just assuming all war making power, that the balance is beginning to swing back to a constitutional direction. >> we have to take another quick break here. when we come back, i want to talk to you about what this is going to mean for the rest of the legislative agenda here. because again, immigration reforms still on the docket allegedly. and also, of course, a number of looming budget deadlines. we'll talk about that.
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we continue to talk about the looming crisis in syria. the panel is back. lynn sweet, before the break, i was talking to you about what this debate on the hill will mean for the rest of the legislative agenda. will immigration, looming budget deadlines. what is going to happen to those? >> now that obama has said he will give a vote, no matter what happens, if he wins it or not, it means that he has a chance at
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pushing his agenda through. if he had just had this missile strike or whatever is the military action without going to congress, he would have solidified the already polarized republican, the polarizing atmosphere and the republican opposition to him. now having said that, i think immigration is still keyed up to go in the house. it is still a go in piecemeal bills, and i guess there is a lot of movement to do something to help the dream act individuals who were here. undocumented, through no fault of their own. this vote though, if i can say one other thing really quick? it is great that obama, that lawmakers are saying, see, he's giving us the vote. they have to now make a real big decision, what will they do? big vote. >> lynn sweet, we'll have to leave it there. thank you teufel our guests over
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the past two hours. thank you for watching. up next. "disrupt with karen finney." you. waiting to look younger? don't wait. [ female announcer ] get younger looking skin fast. with new olay regenerist micro-sculpting cream. the next generation with 2 new anti-aging ingredients. it penetrates rapidly. visible wrinkle results start day 1. and you'll see younger looking skin before you even finish one jar. ♪ new olay regenerist. the wait is over.
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good afternoon. thank you for joining us. i'm karen finney. we just heard from president obama about the situation in syria and the question remains, are we going to war? >> ten days ago, the world watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in syria. in the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century. over 1,000 people were murdered. young girls and boys, gassed to death. i have decide that had the united states should take military action against syrian regime targets. i've made a second decision. i will seek authorizing for the use of force from the american people's representatives in congress. the country will be stronger if we take this